11 July 2024

Cromwell convinced Mighty Eriu’s Queen Mary effort was no fluke

11 July 2024

Royal Ascot runner-up Mighty Eriu gets another shot at big-race honours in the bet365-sponsored Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket.

A promising second on her racecourse debut at the Curragh in early June, Gavin Cromwell’s filly was snapped up by the Qatar Racing team prior to contesting the Queen Mary Stakes and did her connections proud with a fantastic effort to chase home Leovanni at odds of 50-1.

The performance came as no surprise to her trainer, who is hopeful she can make her presence felt once more in Friday’s six-furlong Group Two.

“It was a great run at Ascot, obviously. I don’t know why she went off as big a price as she was, she was a big drifter on the day for no apparent reason. I thought she’d run well and she did, so we were delighted,” said Cromwell.

“It looks a very good renewal (of the Duchess of Cambridge), but she seems to be going into the race in good form and I’m hoping they don’t get much more rain.

“I think going back up to six furlongs will be fine. Obviously, if the ground is slower, it might be a small concern, so hopefully the ground is not too slow.

“She seems in good form and we’re hoping for a good run.”

Cromwell has an interesting second string to his bow in the form of Fiery Lucy, who confirmed the promise of a narrow defeat on her introduction at Cork by winning comfortably on her second start at Fairyhouse four weeks ago.

The trainer added: “I think the trip won’t be a problem with her, she could potentially go further, and she seems in good form at home.

“Obviously it’s a big step up from the Fairyhouse race, but we’re hopeful of a good run.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Heavens Gate and the Charlie Appleby-trained Mountain Breeze renew rivalry after finishing third and fourth respectively in Royal Ascot’s Albany Stakes.

Ryan Moore opted to ride Heavens Gate’s winning stablemate Fairy Godmother in Berkshire but will be back on board the former on the July Course.

He told Betfair: “Heavens Gate has progressed from race to race and hopefully that upward trend continues here.

“She clearly ran a great race when third in the Albany last time, looking the likely winner at one stage, and that puts her among the form horses here in what is admittedly a very competitive Group Two, albeit one lacking a clear stand-out going into the race.”

Of Mountain Breeze, Appleby said on the Godolphin website: “We have been very pleased with how she has come out of Royal Ascot, and she looks to have done well physically since.

“Based on that, and looking at the shape of the race, we feel that she should be very competitive.”

Adrian Nicholls saddles the Queen Mary third Maw Lam, with George Boughey’s impressive recent Carlisle scorer Bountiful also of interest in an open race.

Boughey said: “I was pleased with her but not surprised at Carlisle. It was a warm enough race I think, with the (Ralph) Beckett horse (Megalithic, finished third) being fancied and Bountiful seems to have done well since then.

“It will be notably different ground I’d imagine – it was fast ground at Carlisle – but her pedigree would suggest she should have a chance of handling it and I’m looking forward to seeing her over a stiff six furlongs.”

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